THE STRANGERS WE KNOW By Pip Drysdale #Simon&Schuster #PipDrysdale @sarahHarwood #bookblogger #TheStrangersWeKnow

Available to purchase from the 26th November 2020 published by Simon & Schuster Paperback Original £7.99 9781471196973

SYNOPSIS

Imagine seeing your husband on a dating app. Now imagine that’s the best thing that happens to you all week….

When Charlie sees a man who is the spitting image of her husband , Oliver, on a dating app, her heart stops. Her first desperate instinct is to tell herself she must be mistaken – after all, she only caught a glimpse from a distance, as her friends laughingly swiped through the men on offer. But no matter how much she tries to push her fears aside, she can’t let it go. Because she took the photo. On their honeymoon.

Suddenly, other signs of betrayal start to add up. so, Charlie does the only thing she can think of, to defend her position – she signs up to the app. To catch Oliver in the act.

But Charlie soon discovers that infidelity is the least of her problems. Nothing is as it seems, and nobody is who she thinks they are…..

MY REVIEW

How well do you really know your other half? Charlie had been hurt previously, and definitely has some trust issues. When she meets Oliver in a bar they instantly hit it off and romance blossoms. It’s not long before they are married. But whilst on their honeymoon someone breaks into their apartment. Oliver insists they move. Charlie wants to make it big in acting, but once married Oliver doesn’t want her kissing men on the screen, which seems to limit the roles she can go for. She also works in a vintage clothes shop, whilst attending auditions. The whole story is told in first person from Charlie’s point of view so there are times you wonder how reliable she is as the narrator. The story is told in episodes rather than chapters, beginning in February 2017 when Charlie first meets Oliver. Then jumps to 18 months later to 5th June 2018 and coming to its climax on the 18th June 2018.

Oliver works away a lot, flying to Nigeria and Dubai although Charlie doesn’t seem to really know what his job is.

Oliver works away a lot, flying to Nigeria and Dubai as well as other places around the world although Charlie doesn’t’ the seem that clear as to what job he actually does. It’s whilst he is away that she meets up with her friend Tess, and another friend of Tess’s for drinks, Oliver is due home that night. Charlie is excited he is coming home, Tess is single after having had a bad break up, which had taken her a while to deal with, as the three of them sat there drinking wine Tess had her phone out looking at a dating app, swiping left and right if she liked or disliked someone, they were having a nice relaxing evening until Charlie spotted a photo, but before she could do anything it had gone, she asked Tess if she could go back, but Tess explained it doesn’t work like that and asked why she wanted to see the photo, Charlie was convinced the photo she had just seen was of her Oliver what was worse and convinced her more was it was a photo she had taken on their honeymoon. Tess says there is no way it’s Oliver, that he wouldn’t do that to her, because he loved her, she must have been mistaken. But Charlie is convinced. So the seed of mistrust is planted. But how is she going to deal with it? She can’t just go out and ask him outright if he’s on a dating app, what if she’s wrong? she had been wrong over something once before and had followed him to a business meeting thinking he was meeting another woman. Unfortunately, he had seen her watching him and the reaction hadn’t been great.

But then Charlie remembers being in a supermarket with Charlie one day, when they bumped into his ex Alyssa who had gone white and put her shopping basket down and left the store. Charlie hadn’t known he was still in a relationship when they had met. Could he be bored with her already? Was she the next to be dumped? But he had married her, didn’t that count for something? The only thing she can think about doing is to put herself on the app, but not herself as herself, a fake profile, a fake photo, could she catch him out? To try and draw him out. But if it is him and he has been deceiving her, can she handle whatever she finds out?

This is an interesting read, although at times I really wanted to slap or shake Charlie, she could have just asked Oliver, but then would he have lied? Would he have made her out to be paranoid? Charlie became obsessed with trying to find the truth, some of what she found was nothing like the Oliver she knew. How could she have got it so wrong? Initially Tess thought she had lost the plot until she saw some of what Charlie had unearthed, and was ready to support her friend through whatever came next. But little did they know which way things were going to go. Charlie had felt like she had been being watched, but never saw anyone.

There are several twists and turns that start appearing that come from nowhere. Charlie finds herself in a dicey predicament and has to find a way out to save herself. To prove she is innocent, she realises she never knew Oliver at all, not really.

This is a well plotted, well written psychological thriller, that will keep you guessing. I did find it hard to warm to Charlie, but as her story was being told you could see why she was the way she was. If you are into stories with a twist in the plot you will enjoy this.

I would like to thank @SarahHarwood and the publishers #Simon&Schuster for a gifted ARC of this book in exchange for an honest, fair and unbiased review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I give this ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ out of ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ . I look forward to reading other books by this author.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Pip Drysdale is a writer, actor and musician who grew up in Africa and Australia. At 20, she moved to New York to study acting, worked in indie films and off-off Broadway theatre, started writing songs and made four records. After graduating with a BA in English, Pip moved to London where she dated some interesting men and played shows across Europe. The Sunday Girl, her first book, was a bestseller. To find out more about Pip, head to : pip Drysdale.com, or find her on Facebook or Instagram.


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